I love the chaos which finds itself here at St Andrew every Sunday morning. No, I am not speaking about the worship services nor the growing Children's Ministry. I am talking about the constant buzz rising up from the entryway or Commons. This buzz of activity and conversation and life begins around the 8 o'clock hour and does not diminish until well after noon with very strong gusts from 9:45-10:00 and again from 11:00-11:15.
When I first came here to St Andrew, this buzz overwhelmed me in the best of ways. The chaotic spin of hellos and good-byes and get-your-child-to-where's and the service is about to begin made me see there is so much more to this community than I could ever manage to understand. So many warm smiles and welcome handshakes accompanied the ever increasing list of names. The spinning is both so energizing and draining. I set my face to the coming months looking forward to this weekly celebration and praying for the strength to live into it.
It has been several months and I find I still love this chaos for new reasons. I have stood in the currents of coming and going for months now and do not know if there has been a day in which I have not met someone new (my apologies to those I have introduced myself to for the third time now ;) I have had wonderful conversations and made random plans. I have felt the anxiety of family's flying from rushed mornings to hopefully an hour of worshipful peace. I have seen intentional love seek out those who may be alone. I have seen children laughing, crying, and being loved with a mother's touch. I have heard old friendships add new layers of tall tales and tearful confidences. I have seen life.
In the beginning of Genesis there are these two Hebrew words, tohu va'bohu, which speak of the chaos, nothingness, and boundless energy which precede creation (check-in with the Beginnings group on Wednesday night for more on this, as their study has kept this in my mind). God then speaks light into this chaos and creation unfolds according to God's life giving majesty. Of late, I have sensed this creative, life-giving nature in this chaos on Sunday mornings. All of the exhaustion and celebration and grief and joy and space and loneliness and adventure of the past week careens through this space, to re-member the One which orders it all, to find a way to start a new week. So many come and go and affect one another in the worship of a gracious God. I can think of no better way to start my week.